Radhika's in south pasadena
It would be interesting if Karan of the Pasadena Radhika's has reopened in this new location. We used to like Radhika's when it first opened, and even got him to cater a dinner party for our Indian community once. But over the years his quality of food and then service deteriorated so much that the last time I took a friend for dinner there, I made a mental note to never go back. Soon after that the Pasadena location folded!
Perhaps the second act will be better!
it would also be interesting to see how this location plays out in the long run. i feel like the restaurant before the pizza place suffered due to poor service. don't even remember the name. never even got to go to the pizza place since i slept on it and it went dead before i knew it. not sure if it's the location or just badly managed restaurants. i'm thinking the latter since heirloom cafe around the corner seems to do really well and it's so well hidden.
I'm going to pick up on this thread instead of starting a new one, just because I find the background offered by these comments to be useful and interesting. Three of us went there this evening; Mrs. O and her friend T. had been shopping on Mission Street and called me to join them at Radhika (as it's now called). T. is especially fond of Indian food; I posted a review of an Indian restaurant near Universal City where she threw herself a birthday party. Now of course I can't remember the name, but it's on Cahuenga, and I loved everything I tried there.
This was a lot closer to home, of course, and the ambience much less traditional, though the service was friendly and prompt. The wine list is small, with limited by-the-glass choices; Mrs. O had a split of bubbly that she liked, T. had a sauvignon blanc, didn't see which, and I had a glass of a Rodney Strong pinot noir that did not budge my socks an inch. It did go with the food okay.
As for that, T. ordered the Kerala Fish Curry, and Mrs. O the Lamb Shank Kashmiri. I wanted something very spicy and asked for the Lamb Vindaloo. We also got two orders of white Basmati rice and one of cauliflower and potatoes, plus a basket of the garlic/onion/rosemary/basil naan. Of course it was too much food by a good margin, at least twice as much starch as the meal required, but the excess is in good hands …
We swapped bites all around, as usual. The fish was perfectly tender and the sauce delicious, and the lamb shank was as succulent and good as you'd want, with a sneaky spiciness to the sauce. My lamb was cooked to perfection, and had it come off the stove at that point instead of several minutes later it would have been exquisite. It was unfortunately a bit dry and chewy, though the sauce had a lovely kick, and it all went very well with both rice and the potato/cauliflower dish.
Since the pricing here works very much along steakhouse lines, with everything being à la carte, the relatively low prices on individual items can stack up once they're compiled into a meal. So although the lamb shank, at $16, was the most expensive item we ordered, the tab came out to a bit under $100 with tax for the three of us, not a fierce amount but not exactly cheap, either. The side dishes are rather dearly priced, I think - $4 for a bit more than a cup of rice is a smidge high, and $10 for a small dish of potatoes and cauliflower, however nicely cooked, will temper my enthusiasm for it in the future.
Still, it's a nice place, and one can eat well there for less than we spent, as shall we in the future. I want to tackle that lamb shank myself, and try some of the appetizers, which look to be more reasonably priced than the sides.
Radhika Modern Indian
966 Mission St.
re: Will Owen
Bollywood was the place I couldn't remember. Even though at night it seems to function primarily as a takeout joint - our table was about the only one occupied by on-the-spot diners - we had a very good meal. Were it as close as Radhika I'd be there once a week.
Bollywood Cafe 2
3737 Cahuenga Blvd. West
I ate there several times when they were in Pasadena and had no complaints.
So I stopped in at Rhadika in So. Pasadena for lunch a couple days before Thanksgiving. They had a menu of lunch specials with only about 5 items to choose from. I thought the lunch menu prices were somewhat steep. I ordered lamb curry which came with rice and vegetables. Waiter service was okay but they obviously had a problem in the kitchen. It was a 25 minute wait to get served. And they weren’t busy at all then. The curry was okay as was the rice but the vegetables arrived cold. By then I didn’t have time to send it back and wait longer. I won’t be returning there again.
re: Sam D.
Four of us went to Radhika last night. It's a pretty place so I'd give it good marks for ambiance. We ordered pretty basic things; lamb roganjosh, chicken vindeloo, chicken tikka masala, vegetable biryani. The biryani was the only dish that was outstanding - the rest were on a par with All India Cafe or Mezbaan in Old Town, both less $ than Radhika.
But the service was terrible. Our waiter took both our beverage/menu orders without a welcome or a smile and literally rolled his eyes and was completely unhelpful as we discussed what to order. Only the junior waiter who brought the bread said 'enjoy your meal.' The food came very quickly and the balance of our time was spent in a tug of war trying not to get them to take away our plates/remaining food. I swear we were asked if we were finished at least 10x. Nobody offered to bring more beer or refill our water glasses. I have never felt so rushed.
If it was simply my husband and I we would have had no problem asking for a manager, but our friends had chosen the restaurant and I didn't want to be rude, but it was really uncomfortable. I'll add that we had reservations; there were several empty tables; and we were there 2 hours. It felt like fast-food pacing, but at white tablecloth prices.
Don't know if this was an off night, but there you have it.
I am sorry to hear about your poor experience. My sense is in many of the slightly mid to upscale Indian restaurants, they pay the servers poorly - resulting in churlish service. As an Indian American, some of the worst service I have had is in similar Indian restaurants - though I as wrote earlier on this thread, we stopped patronizing Radhika's in its earlier avatar when the food deteriorated substantially. One of our more recent poor experience was in Tanzore.
It is too bad that there are so few good Indian restaurants in Los Angeles. I keep hearing good reports about the ones in New York like Devi, and Tabla. Perhaps because of the geographical spread, it is hard to maintain a great Indian restaurant in any one location.
50 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
We heard about Radhika on a Saturday and visited the next night as Indian food is our fave.
Decided to sit in the lounge, like the "vibe" better and the B & W Bollywood flics on the flat screet. Had a most amazing Fish Curry and Lamb dish, both excellent and as we drove back to the Westside, we were already planning our next visit. No traffic on a Sunday evening makes for a fast, easy drive.
11101 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
First off, as a former New Yorker (from a looong time ago) I can attest to what a terrific city it is for Indian food. There was one block (6th street between 2nd and 3rd Ave?) that had nothing but Indian shops and restaurants. I used to joke that they all shared the same underground kitchen!
The bad service we received at Radhika was not from their low-paid waiters (I get that) but from what seemed to be a maitre'd - guy in a suit who greeted us at the door and then took the order. I think he set the tone. Again the gentleman who left us the bread w/a friendly 'enjoy your meal' seemed to be at almost a busboy level. If it had just been my husband and I dining we would have tipped him 20% in cash and then stiffed the guy who took our order.
Lastly and I welcome the chance to say this as you're Indian American, there were quite a few tables of people of Indian heritage dining - large groups of multi-generational families. Obviously a great sign in an ethnic restaurant. They were there when we arrived and as we left and nobody seemed to be clearing their tables as aggressively. I don't know what to make of that, but I did notice it. Perhaps they were simply well-known to management and were encouraged to linger which I understand.
I had a terrific Indian meal last week in an upscale place in Santana Row in San Jose called Amber. Our daughter is at Santa Clara University and we always make it a point to go to Amber when we're in town. Setting, food, service - all impeccable.